Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
To the Electors
DEPARTMENT OF THE SEINE
If you want the Republic founded by you to be strong and durable, send the National Assembly men imbued with the principle of the sovereignty of the people; men whose patriotism has been able to resist corruption and intimidation; men who are moreover not the Republicans of tomorrow, but Republicans of yesterday!
I think I know how many there are of such men.
I was brought up to be contemptuous of kings and I greeted the fall of Charles X rapturously. I submitted, but protesting with indignation, to the master schemers and dupes we imposed on ourselves at that time. I myself was fooled for a moment, but I stopped being fooled at the retreat of the virtuous Dupont (de l'Eure), and before the end of 1830, I was a Republican. Since then, I have not missed a single day without contributing my wishes, my words and deeds, to the overthrow of the man that France supported too long!
If my name was not heard in the political assemblies, there is a very simple reason: in the oligarchic regime that you just reversed, I was not a voter, and I would never become a voter! But ask those whom I dare to call my illustrious friends: Dupont (de l'Eure), Arago, Ledru-Rollin, Louis Blanc, Garnier-Pagès; ask the young people who left the École Polytechnique the previous eight years; invoke memories of my old comrades of the eleventh legion: they will all tell you that I was always seen at the breach, and that my well known republican views prevented me from making the progress that I was legitimately due. Current students of the École Polytechnique, who shared your dangers and your glory will add that I did my duty on February 24 and 25, either in the street or at the Hôtel-de-Ville.
Today, citizens, to reward me for my past services, I request that I again be allowed to render services to the country. I want to take part in the work of the Assembly which, more successfully than the National Convention, may apply the principles of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity that it proclaimed itself, and for which our fathers have shed so much blood and tears!
Tutor at the École Polytechnique, Professor at the Lycée Charlemagne.
Paris, 25 March 1848
JOC/EFR September 2012
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